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New advancements in lab data management technologies include devices with a fully integrated SDMS, a cloud-based and an online ELN, an ELN featuring a virtual assistant, and updated LIMS software.
Proper lab data management practices are essential for laboratories seeking an organized and effective workflow. The following are recent advances in lab information management systems (LIMS) and electronic laboratory notebooks (ELN) for proper and efficient lab data management.
LabVantage 8.5 from LabVantage Solutions is a LIMS solution that includes a fully integrated scientific data management system (SDMS) for increased security and control over data loss and modification (1). With the ability to capture externally generated data, reduce bottlenecks by deploying distributed file collectors, and utilize a centralized LIMS-controlled file system, database, or Amazon web services cloud storage, the SDMS automatically collects and protects laboratory data as they are generated for rapid availability to staff and researchers.
Additionally, LabVantage 8.5 features a configuration management and transfer feature that simplifies the configuration process, allows for changes across teams, and transfers configuration changes between LIMS environments with an easy export/import process.
“During these challenging times, we are especially proud to release LabVantage 8.5, which represents a major advance reflecting our commitment to making the advantages of digital transformation fully accessible to our customers,” said John Heiser, CEO of LabVantage, in a company press release. “LabVantage 8.5’s fully integrated SDMS is specifically designed for the LabVantage platform and provides major benefits to laboratory managers, with the aim of making their operations more efficient, productive, and secure. Our user-friendly, all-in-one SDMS offers seamless, continuous data integrity. Importantly, it allows managers to secure all of their data, not just the final results.”
Tulane University launched LabArchives, a cloud-based ELN that allows researchers to capture, manage, store, and share information and data among each other and outside parties (2). The ELN provides options to upload and store text, tables, images, spreadsheets, and attachments, while creating notebook templates for research groups and providing users with constant access to data.
“Our number one research goal at Tulane is to bring people together with different talent, backgrounds, and knowledge to answer the questions that cannot be answered by individual investigators,” said Dr. Giovanni Piedimonte, Tulane’s vice-president for research, in a university press release. “The digital revolution has provided unprecedented tools that allow scientists to share data and knowledge in real-time. Electronic lab notebooks, such as LabArchives, provide an excellent example of this evolution because they allow you to work cross-functionally across multiple platforms and devices, making it easier for research teams to collaborate and manage data,” Piedimonte said.
Dotmatics added eln.online, a quick start version of its ELN, to its cloud-based scientific software solutions portfolio (3). The new service is designed to support research start-ups as they transition to fully functioning enterprises by providing a standard template dedicated to capturing discovery experiments. It is also fully scalable and will work to grow with the company without losing data.
“We’re thrilled to offer this new ELN to support start-ups and provide a strong technology platform as a springboard to expansion,” said Dr. Stephen Gallagher, co-founder and CEO, Dotmatics, in a company press release. “ELNs are an essential part of lab and IT infrastructure and so we have worked hard to deliver a product that can be set up and established quickly and early in a company’s development to ensure they are able to maximize productivity and safeguard their IP [intellectual property] from day one.”
Dotmatics also introduced an ELN equipped with LabVoice’s scientific virtual assistant, a hands-free voice assisted technology (4). The new feature will provide scientists with the ability to use their voices to request the status of instruments, sort samples, capture measurements, and adjust experiments in real-time.
The scientific virtual assistant within the ELN allows for the capturing of data while eliminating duplicate transcription and saving time by reducing movement between the computer and lab bench. Additionally, the virtual assistant guides users through experimental protocols to quicken and simplify tasks while ensuring data can be accessed immediately through the ELN.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with LabVoice and are inspired by the possibilities our customers now have in automating data from scientists in real-time, further complemented by our instrument data capture offering on behalf of BioBright,” said Gallagher in a company press release. “By streamlining research workflows, scientists will be free to spend more time on analysis and decision making with the cleanest and best data. We’re now looking to identify additional client use cases and in the longer-term hope to integrate LabVoice’s technology with a range of Dotmatics software to support customers journeys towards the lab of the future.”
The latest version of Thermo Fisher Scientific’s SampleManager LIMS software 12.3 features built-in ELN capabilities for the streamlining of operations in contract laboratories and increased dashboard configuration for personalized data visualization (5). Integrated with the software’s existing LIMS, lab execution system, and scientific data management system, the new ELN feature provides users with simplified storage options, along with the easy search and retrieval of supplementary information.
The software also has the ability to function without specialized IT personnel because of its dashboard feature, which allows for users to configure the dashboards themselves for user or role views of key performance indicators for faster decision making.
“Building on more than 30 years of laboratory informatics knowledge and technology expertise, SampleManager LIMS software continues to provide rich functionality and put control in the hands of users to drive efficiencies, connect data, and deliver actionable information,” said Dr. Cheryl Moody Bartel, head of product management for digital science, Thermo Fisher Scientific, in a company press release. “The new version of the software introduces further capability and usability enhancements to enable manufacturing QA/QC [quality assurance/quality control] and contract laboratories to improve management of their laboratory operations and drive further insights from their data.”
1. LabVantage, “LabVantage Solutions’ 8.5 Edition Adds Fully Integrated Scientific Data Management System (SDMS) to its Industry-Leading LIMS Platform,” Press Release, July 8, 2020.
2. Tulane University, “Tulane University Launches LabArchives for Researchers,” Press Release, Sept. 11, 2020.
3. Dotmatics, “Dotmatics Introduces eln.online to Support Research Start-Ups,” Press Release, Sept. 9, 2020.
4. Dotmatics, “Dotmatics Collaborates with LabVoice to Enable Voice-Assisted Laboratory Workflows,” Press Release, Oct. 28, 2020.
5. Thermo Fisher Scientific, “New Functionality Added to Thermo Scientific SampleManager LIMS software for Manufacturing QA/QC and Contract Laboratories,” Press Release, Oct. 15, 2020.
Lauren Lavelle is the assistant editor for BioPharm International.
Vol. 33, No. 12
When referring to this article, please cite it as L. Lavelle, “What’s New in Lab Data Management Technologies,” BioPharm International 33 (12) 2020.